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Placing My Baby Up for Adoption and the ICWA

By Kristina Biegley

Adoption is usually the first thing that comes to mind when having an unplanned pregnancy. Women who are giving a child up for adoption don’t feel fit to take care of their child at this time. Talk with your adoption specialist about what you wish to do with your child. Keep in mind this is a judgment-free zone, and Adoption Choices of Kansas is here for your child’s adoption. 

So, you may be wondering what ICWA means. ICWA stands for the Indian Child Welfare Act and helps with the adoption coverage when adopting Native American children. Adopting is a big decision, and Adoption Choices of Kansas will be a part of your adoption process and help you along the way. You can also reach out to an adoption counselor and get more information about your private adoption in Kansas and the ICWA. 

If you need help with adoption now, you can call or text us at 316-209-2071, or contact us here.

History of the ICWA and Why it was Passed

The ICWA was passed in 1978 and signed by President Jimmy Carter. ICWA has federal requirements in place that apply to custody proceedings with Native American children who are members of a federally recognized tribe. Prior to the ICWA, Native American children were being taken away from their families. This law was passed to keep this tragic situation from happening again.

All children deserve to be protected; they shouldn’t have to fear being taken away from their loved ones. Our children are precious human beings, and we’ll always do what’s best for them to ensure they’re safe. Having this law can make things easier for Native American children and their families. 

Adoption Qualifications in Kansas 

If you have any Native American heritage, the ICWA requirements will not apply to you. Children must meet a set of qualifications. These qualifications include:

  • Being a member of a recognized federal tribe
  • Having a biological parent who is a tribe member 

Albeit, these requirements may vary depending on the type of case you choose for your Kansas adoption.

Purpose of the ICWA

Protecting our families and making sure our children are safe is important. As parents, we want to always make sure our loved ones are healthy and safe. The ICWA keeps Native American children protected from being removed from their families. The ICWA allows Native American families to stick together and lessens the chances of children getting separated from their families. 

So, who does this apply to? This applies to anyone who identifies as a Native American child and is eligible to join or is already a part of a tribe. ICWA applies to child welfare and adoption proceedings. 

Coverage by ICWA

If the Native American child is involved in a state guardianship, foster care, or adoptive proceedings, these will be covered by the ICWA. In order to apply for ICWA, the involved child must be classified as an Native American child by the law. 

This defines a Native American child as unmarried or under the age of eighteen. It also doesn’t apply to disputes between parents, juvenile delinquents, and tribal courts. You can contact the child’s tribe to check on the eligibility. Adoption Choices of Kansas can help gather all the information you need throughout this process. 

Considering adoption and how the ICWA affects it

The ICWA law provides the flexibility to protect the child’s best interests. This gives the birth parents the right to place their children with adoptive families of their choosing. Effective procedures are in place to help with adoption agencies and families. 

ICWA does not apply to voluntary adoption proceedings when the Native American birth parents willingly place their child up for adoption and select the adoptive family for the child. Every adoption is important when determining the Native American family’s ancestry. If either parent has a native background, the ICWA may require further inquiry and get as much information on them as they can. 

Open adoption plan with the ICWA

If you’re looking to maintain a relationship with your baby after birth, then open adoption is the right choice for you. ICWA’s main purpose was to keep Native American Children together with their families, tribes, and cultural backgrounds. 

Open adoption plans don’t change with the ICWA because both the birth mothers and adoptive families can keep a close relationship with their children. ICWA and the adoption company look for adoptive families with the same cultural background as the child’s ethical background. As the child gets older, they’ll want to discuss their adoption story. Choosing an open adoption as the birth mother will then give you the opportunity to discuss your background with your child. 

Kansas City Adoptions 

Our main goal as a parent is to make sure we provide our child with a happy home. They grow up faster than we think, and every second we spend with them is beautiful. Adoption Choices in Kansas is here to support you in your adoption process and help you apply the ICWA to your adoption case. 

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